The Last Optimist – ‘seed water sun’

Following last year’s stellar EP, This Moment is Gone, The Last Optimist returns with a gorgeous full-length in seed water sun — further showcasing the artist’s riveting songwriting, ranging from the budding dark folk-rock of “shame you left me” to the caressing duet balladry of “not a sound” and the twangy rocker “one night in Belfast.”

The Boston-based singer/songwriter Markus Belanger, the artist behind the project, crafts a compelling alt-folk sound throughout, equally adept at lush acoustical contemplation and rousing rock theatrics. Muli-instrumentalist Doug Kwartler also lends his talents, and Danielle Pinals features on vocals within the tracks “bloom now sweet flower” and “not a sound.”

The delicate string-laden “not a sound” builds a dreamy, hypnotic spell as the two vocals intertwine gorgeously, remarking on the fleeting nature of lovely moments. Caressing guitars during the lulling “singing,” vocal refrain makes for an especially beautiful moment. “one night in Belfast” is another standout, meshing spirited backing acoustics and jangly guitars amidst vocals with shades of Michael Stipe. seed water sun is another impressive showing from The Last Optimist.

“not a sound” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of August 2023’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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